Switzerland Armed Forces

Switzerland Armed Forces

Army. – Typical “militia” army, with compulsory recruitment, does not have permanent forces, with the exception of a core of about 300 instructors: an organization made possible by the armed neutrality of the country, the soldier’s spirit and the military traditions of the people.

Budget: 100,475,000 francs. Average annual strength: 660 officers, 12,500 ranks.

The obligation to serve in the military is general and personal; its duration is 28 years for the troop, 32 for the officers; there are no exclusions or exemptions, except for physical disability. Those who are not eligible pay a “military tax” as a subrogation and as a contribution to the military defense of the nation; in addition, they are subject to a surcharge on capital and income. The duty of service is fulfilled: 12 years (10 for the cavalry) in active service; 8 years in the Landwehr; 8 in the Landsturm.

The collection of personnel is local for the infantry, cantonal for other weapons and services, national for a few units not incorporated into the divisions. Citizens complete the following periods of service in peacetime: recruit school, lasting 60 days for services, 65 for infantry and engineers, 75 for artillery and fortress personnel, 90 for cavalry; repetition courses, lasting 13-16 days every year of stay in the active army, 11-13 days every 4 years of stay in the Landwehr. Recruit schools are organized by weapon; each constitutes a corresponding school battalion or department. In February 1935, following a referendum the people declared themselves in favor of extending the duration of the recruiting service, bringing it to 3 months for the infantry and artillery, to 3 and a half months for the cavalry; to subject the Landwehr reservists to repeat courses every two years of stay in the Landwehr.

At the end of the recruiting service, the soldier receives in delivery, for the entire duration of the service obligation, the armament and personal equipment for which he is accountable to the state; he becomes free owner of it when he is sent on absolute leave.

The militia officers are taken from non-commissioned officers, called to take courses at official schools lasting a minimum of 45 days for some services, a maximum of 105 days for artillery and engineering.

The territory is divided into 3 army corps districts, 6 division districts (Morges, Biel, Bern, Aarau, Zurich, St. Gallen).

The army includes: large units: 3 corps, each of two infantry divisions; 6 infantry divisions, each of 3 infantry brigades (including 1 mountain) and 1 artillery brigade; 3 cavalry brigades, each of two regiments; troops of the active army and of the Landwehr: divisional and mountain infantry; cavalry (dragoons); field, mountain, heavy field, motorized, fortress artillery; genius diggers, miners, bridge workers, telegraphers, radiotelegraphers; services: health, police station, transport, etc.

Military aviation. – Depends on the general staff; it is made up of 18 employment companies, 1 fleet company, 3 photographic companies, and is equipped with aircraft of foreign design. Military airports: Dübendorf (Zurich), Thun, Lausanne.

For training there are: a recruiting school, a non-commissioned officers’ school, an officers’ school, a pilots’ school, an observer school. Pilotage instruction is given during the second half of the officers’ course and continued in the pilot and observer school; at the end of the pilot course, the officers are required to complete 100 hours of flight per year for 3 consecutive years; junior officers move to the reserve at 32 years of age.

The staff are 695 between officers and non-commissioned officers, and 2241 municipalities. The devices supplied are: 150 for ready war use; 100 for training and training.

Switzerland Armed Forces